United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 1968

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Eurovision Song Contest 1968
Country  United Kingdom
National selection
Selection process A Song For Europe
Selection date(s) 5 March 1968
Selected entrant Cliff Richard
Selected song "Congratulations"
Selected songwriter(s)
Finals performance
Final result 2nd, 28 points
United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄1967 1968 1969►

The United Kingdom held a national preselection to choose the song that would go to the Eurovision Song Contest 1968. It was held on 5 March 1968 and presented by Cilla Black as a special edition of her debut BBC1 TV series 'Cilla'. Black had been the BBC's first choice to sing the 1968 UK entry, but she had turned it down as she did not believe any nation was likely to win back-to-back contests. Unlike the last three UK selections, the songs were not presented at all before the final. Instead, for the first time, the songs were broadcast twice in the final, with the performances repeated immediately after Cliff Richard had sung them successively. Viewers cast votes by postcard via mail to choose the winner and 171,300 chose Congratulations, with the runner up over 140,000 behind in the poll. The result was broadcast one week later on 12 March 1968. Richard released all six short listed songs on an Extended Play maxi single titled Congratulations: Cliff sings 6 Songs for Europe, with the winner and the runner up being released on a standard single that spent two weeks at No.1 in the UK singles chart. This was the first of only two tracks from the Eurovision Song Contest that topped the UK chart without winning the competition. Cliff recorded French, German, Italian and Spanish versions of the winning song, as well as a German version of Wonderful World, which was also recorded (in English) by Elvis Presley.

Like in 1967 when they won with Sandie Shaw, another current modern pop singer was chosen by the BBC, Cliff Richard sang the song "Congratulations", a catchy party pop song, it finished a close 2nd place, losing only to Spain with one point.

As the contest was held in the UK, the BBC opted not to send a Television commentator, instead Katie Boyle introduced each act from the stage. However Pete Murray provided commentary for BBC Radio 1. The contest was also broadcast on British Forces Radio with commentary provided by Thurston Holland. Michael Aspel served as the spokesperson for the U.K jury.

Results[edit]

Artist Song Place Points*
Cliff Richard Wonderful World 3 19,990
Cliff Richard Do you Remember? 6 4,200
Cliff Richard High 'n' Dry 2 30,500
Cliff Richard The Sound of the Candyman's Trumpet 4 11,200
Cliff Richard Congratulations 1 171,300
Cliff Richard Little Rag Doll 5 10,400
The table is ordered by appearance.
*Points were only announced rounded up.

"Congratulations" won the national and went on to come 2nd in the contest.